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Rage Hezekiah

Rage Hezekiah is the author of the forthcoming collections Stray Harbor, with Finishing Line Press, and Unslakable, with Paper Nautilus, both to be published in 2019. She works as an international student advisor at Bennington College and lives in North Adams, Massachusetts.

By This Poet

1

On Anger

My white therapist calls it my edge, I hear
Angry Black Woman. She says, Strength
of Willful Negative Focus. She says, Acerbic
Intellectual Temperament. I copy her words
onto an index card. She wants
an origin story, a stranger with his hand
inside me, or worse. I’m without
linear narrative and cannot sate her. We
perform rituals on her living room floor. I burn
letters brimming with resentments, watch
the paper ember in the fireplace, admit
I don’t want to let this go. What if anger,
my armor, is embedded in the marrow
of who I am. Who can I learn to be
without it? Wherever you go,
there you are. She asks what I will lose
if I surrender, I imagine a gutted fish,
silvery skin gleaming, emptied of itself—